Canadian sniper breaks world record with 3.5km-long kill shot in Iraq

Canadian sniper breaks world record with 3.5km-long kill shot in Iraq
US Soldiers from the First Battalion.
PHOTO: AFP

A Canadian sniper who killed an Islamic State (IS) militant from 3,540 metres away in Iraq last month has been lauded for his record-breaking feat.

According to BBC, the Canadian shooter, a member of Joint Task Force 2, launched the McMillan TAC-50 rifle bullet from a high-rise building, with the bullet taking almost 10 seconds to hit his target.

It is the longest confirmed kill in military history, overriding British sniper Craig Harrison's 2,475 metre 338 Lapua Magnum rifle shot at Taliban gunner in 2009.

"This is an incredible feat. It is a world record that might never be equalled," a military source said according to The Globe and Mail.

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"The shot in question actually disrupted a Daesh [Islamic State] attack on Iraqi security forces," the anonymous source emphasised, "Instead of dropping a bomb that could potentially kill civilians in the area, it is a very precise application of force and because it was so far away, the bad guys didn't have a clue what was happening."

Detailing the clean precision and skill required to attain the 'world's longest sniper shot', The Washington Post claimed that for the soldier to achieve his target from that length, he would need to have accounted for every atmospheric factor available.

These include wind speed, temperature, barometric pressure, and even, the rotation of the earth.

A source with expertise in training Canadian special forces told The Globe and Mail: "It is at the distance where you have to account not just for the ballistics of the round, which change over time and distance, you have to adjust for wind, and the wind would be swirling,"

"You have to adjust for him firing from a higher location downward and as the round drops you have to account for that. And from that distance you actually have to account for the curvature of the Earth," he added.

Evan McAllister, a former Marine sergeant, provided his input explaining that it may be likely that the sniper team had some form of assistance either from an extremely advanced rifle scope or an overhead drone."

"There is also a chance that the sniper couldn't exactly see the target or the impacts, but a spotter with an advanced optical device was able to verbally walk the sniper onto the target and correct his aim."

The record bolsters Canada's reputation for the cunning and deadly accuracy of its special forces, reported Toronto Sun, as three of the top five longest kills belong to Canadian soldiers. They notched 3,540 metres, 2,430 metres and 2,310 metres in world rankings, coming in first, third, and fourth respectively. The other two countries on the list include Great Britain with 2,475 metres and the United States with 2,300 metres.

tarinis@sph.com.sg

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